When I was visiting my friend Adam from Travels of Adam in Berlin, Germany last summer, he took me to Hackescher Markt. It's a bit of a touristy area close to Alexanderplatz, but the S-Bahn station is simply beautiful, with orange brickwork and steel arches.
When the people of Flytographer suggested to do my shoot there, I immediately agreed (more on that next week!). Even more so, I hung around the area after we were ready to take my own photos as well.
There was one spot in particular I wanted to capture. At the beginning of the Rosenthaler Strasse, by Cinema Café and just off of Hackescher Markt, there's a little alley you'd easily walk by without noticing it. The entrance is a bit dark, but if you go through you'll enter a courtyard full of graffiti.
And I'm not just talking tags, but huge works of street art. They are always changing as well, so the graffiti you see now might be gone when you revisit Berlin after a few months or years.
The street art alone makes this alley worth a peek, but there's more. There's an exhibition space, another cafe and a weird MonsterKabinett – a basement filled with mechanical monsters.
In the afternoon the place can get crowded, especially in summer when people flock together on the terraces of the cafes, but if you go there early in the morning, you'll have the alley all to yourself. Photo time!
The street art at Hackescher Markt
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My own Berlin apartment
I worked together with Only-apartments while I was in Berlin. Only-apartments has a wide selection of rental apartments in Berlin on offer for solo travelers, groups or families.
When I arrived late at night, there was someone to let me in and explain how everything in the apartment worked. When I left again, I just needed to leave the keys on the table. No fuzz, it was great.
I had my own place for an entire week which meant I could have a long breakfast in the morning, grab a last snack from the fridge when getting home late and basically chill in more than just a small room when I needed to.
And yet I wasn't on my own. The first night I realized the heating in the living room didn't work. I contacted Only-apartments and they got someone to fix it immediately the next day. It was a Sunday night when I emailed them, so I was pleasantly surprised I even managed to get a hold of them.
The rest of the week was filled with hot showers, work at my own table, crashing on the couch and toast prepared in my own little kitchen. I could do this again!
Where to stay around Hackescher Markt
Budget: EastSeven Berlin Hostel
EastSeven Berlin Hostel is a really good value option, not far from Hackescher Markt. The dormitories are fairly simple but they have everything you need, and free WiFi is available. You’ll share a bathroom with up to seven people, but they are cleaned multiple times per day. The best thing about this hostel is the wonderful communal space. The terraced garden with a barbecue and hammocks and 24-hour fully equipped kitchen is free for guests to make use of.
Boutique: Casa Camper Berlin
Casa Camper Berlin is a modern, trendy hotel found just a bit further up the same street that leads to the aforementioned graffiti alleyway – Rosenthaler Strasse. It’s also only a five-minute stroll from Hackescher Markt Train Station. The rooms are minimalistic but stylish, with big windows and plenty of natural light. The hotel generously offers free access to its spa and fitness suite, and has a 24-hour help desk and free WiFi. The top floor bar area provides great views and free snacks and drinks all day long.
Chain: Radisson Blu Hotel
Positioned right next to the riverbank across the water from the spectacular Berliner Dom, this Radisson Blu hotel has a swimming pool, fitness suite and sauna. Large rooms are air-conditioned with large windows and free WiFi. There’s even a fancy bar featuring an aquarium! It’s just a short walk from here to Hackescher Markt, and easy access to many of Berlin’s best sites.
Luxury: Regent Berlin
The Regent Berlin is a five-star hotel and the epitome of decadence. It’s found on the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt Square, a short walk from Friedrichstrasse and Brandenburg Gate. The interior has a classic and elegant style. Spacious, stunning suites come with luxurious marble bathrooms. There are plenty of fine-dining options at the hotel’s chic restaurant that has a constantly updated menu.
Apartment: Flower’s Boardinghouse Mitte
With a fantastic location and surrounded by restaurants and coffee shops, Flower’s Boardinghouse Mitte is a collection of modern, individually-styled apartments. The studios have a really homely feel with bright and airy decor. The kitchen is kitted out with everything you need, free WiFi is available, as is a TV and a DVD player. Free breakfast is also provided.
If you're looking for more apartment options, go to Airbnb. I normally use Booking for hotels, but if I’m trying to find an apartment I always check on Airbnb to browse through their fantastic selection.
If you'd like to try Airbnb but don't have an account yet, I can provide a discount for your first booking if you book through my link. This is at no cost to you.
If you already have an account and found it useful to read this post, please consider booking your next Airbnb through my link. I'll get a small commission while the price for you stays exactly the same. Income like this helps me travel independently and write new content.
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